Musical great, Kenny Lattimore is back with a new album, officially released April 14th, titled Anatomy of A Love Song. It’s not every day that one gets the opportunity to speak with an artist so talented, friendly and extremely easy going and down-to-earth. I wasn’t expecting that and was admittedly a bit nervous, but after he assured me that we would take the interview nice and slow so that I could get everything I needed—I was just fine (smirk). Follow along as a chat with Lattimore to see how he explains what his fans can expect from his latest album, his light-hearted views on today’s music and what else he has in store for us.
Parlé Magazine: Anatomy of A Love Song, sounds like you deconstructed the concept of what we all know, and possible did something different to it. Can you break it down for us on how you developed the title and ultimately what your fans should expect to hear from the album?
Kenny Lattimore: Anatomy of A Love Song, was named that because when I thought about all the other songs I put together, it encompassed elements of everything. There was hurt and pain, good bad and the ugly, things that were lovely and all the subject matters that make up a great love song. I tried to give tribute to sounds that influenced me. There’s a 90’s –late 80’s drum programming on there, and some songs that are reminiscent of the influences of Ron Isley, Marvin Gaye, and Donnie Hathaway. In fact there’s a song on there titled “Nothing Like You” and I did a duet with Lalah Hathaway. When I wrote it, I felt like I wanted the simplicity of what love songs used to be. I know that some people thrive on artistic expression and making sure things are abstract or that it’s just very different. I was like no, I just want something very simplistic that people can relate to.
Parlé: From the two tracks I’ve heard so far on the song, I have to say—it sounds like you’re so in love. Can we get an exclusive?
KL: Awwweee! Well this is my journey back to love. I started recording this album five years ago. A lot of things where different then, I was still married, we were dealing with my son and school, then I went through a divorce and was still being there for my son and being a classroom parent and things like that. But I’m in a wonderful place; and I’m healing from life’s circumstances. I’m at a free and peaceful point and my heart is open and ready to do this again; ready to love again.
Parlé: You make it sound like it’s deeper than romance…
KL: When I talk about being ready to love again, it’s not just about my relationships with women, it’s also about my relationship with music. Because I was doing the duets and then behind the scenes working on things to take care of my family and I wasn’t really sure I wanted to record again. Not R&B, at least. I was going to do some Gospel stuff—which I think is still going to happen down the road along with some other things. A good friend of mine, Carvin Haggins helped me find my way back. When I had doubts, he told me that the industry needed my voice.
Parlé: With so much clouding the airwaves, how do you make a comeback and give the fans something solid and something that will stick with them?
KL: Not all, but there is a lot of music without emotional depth and the industry and media as a whole have celebrated one-dimensional music for a time. It’s forced artists to scramble around to get noticed and follow the trends; but then occasionally someone steps out of the box like a D’Angelo who comes back and the sound reminds you of why you fell in love with music in the first place. Then you start to think, maybe I can come back too—maybe I can authentically create and be me and my audience is still there. And of course they still are, it’s just a matter of what kind of attention you’re expecting. It’s a different kind of attention now that we have social media and the other outlets. The work is a little bit different too and it’s about learning that and how to be in this new place in the world and how to connect to your fans. That’s the reason I did “Love Me Back” as the first single, I felt like I wanted morning radio. I didn’t want to give them a ballad or something they’re expecting—I wanted it to be fresh, something that feels good and still represents the love brand and the ballads are still there, but I didn’t want that to be what I was pigeon-held too.
Parlé: What’s your take on Jay-Z’s launch of Tidal?
KL: I haven’t been following, but from the little I know about it—it’s about streaming music. Streaming is the next wave, it’s here—and it’s the continuing wave of how people are going to perceive music. So for him to be thinking now about how do we take control of it and how do we get a part of it—his timing is spot on. The idea of it alone, is brilliant.
Parlé: When you’re kicked back and you’re relaxing at home—who do you listen to, what’s on your playlist?
KL: Wow, let’s see—Jeff Bradshaw, Kelly Price, Teyana Taylor, Jonathan McReynolds. It’s a real combination of everything.
I could have talked with Kenny Lattimore all day, but time is money and he was off to the next big project. In part, he wanted to also express his appreciation to all his fans and invited them to take a journey back to the music with him. He shared that his label Sincere Soul is in the process of working with and will be launching new talent in the near future. Additionally, his tour dates are posted on his website and he’s active on all his social media handles, so please follow him @kennylattimore.